How to Look Up an MLS Number
Realtors generally don’t use street addresses to identify homes. They use MLS numbers, which are numbers that all agents can universally access to get information about a home that’s for sale. Although you can identify a home by its address, knowing the MLS number will often give you a way to get more information about the home than you might otherwise. It’s also helpful if you can provide your realtor with the MLS number rather than a street address, particularly since some addresses might be somewhat common.
Get the exact address of a house you’re interested in. Pay attention to whether the address includes a designation like “Place,” “Way” or “Street.” These are important details, as there could be more than one “200 Spruce,” with one perhaps being “200 Spruce Way” and the other “200 Spruce Court.” They could even be in the same city. Not having the exact address can confuse matters when a realtor begins research for you.
If you don’t have an exact address, or if you are interested in more than one home on a street, make note of the street, or even a zip code. The idea here is to have enough information that you can find homes of interest and get their MLS numbers.
Go to Realtor.com; in the search bar, type in the property information you have. You can put in the exact address (be sure to include the city), or you can simply provide the name of a street and city. You can even provide just a zip code. Be aware that the results you get might not be restricted to homes on that street, however. Often, the results also include other homes for sale in the area.
Look at the information at the top of the listing. On the line that lists how many bedrooms, bathrooms and square feet the home has, it will also provide information marked “MLS ID #.” This is the MLS number.
If you already have a real estate agent, give her the MLS number so she can schedule a showing. If you don’t, call the listing realtor at the number provided on the home-information page.
Understand that getting the exact address is critical if you want the right information from Realtor.com. Having the zip code is particularly useful. If you don’t know the zip code, go to the U.S. Postal Service website, input the address and city and click “find a zip code."
Tips & Warnings
- Although looking for homes online can be easy, if at all possible, drive through neighborhoods to get a feel for what they have to offer.
- Stay within your price range. Often, results will include homes in a number of price ranges. You can filter the results to bring up less or more expensive homes.